Ronny Morris is the latest artist to tackle The Five Question Challenge!
The Danish singer-songwriter grew up outside of Copenhagen and began his fascination with music at a very early age. From there, his musical journey took him all around the world as he recorded and produced his debut album, Sweet Silence, in recording studios in Stockholm. Prague, Toronto and New York.
Some of his tracks have been featured on some of the most successful dramas of the mid-2000s including Brothers & Sisters, the Ghost Whisperer and One Tree Hill. In addition, he has also had the opportunity to record with the Czech Symphony Orchestra.
However, one of Morris’s biggest passion projects to date is the release of his latest single: “Built to Last,” which will help Greenpeace raise awareness about its Save the Arctic Campaign.
In this edition of The Five Question Challenge, Ronny talked about the campaign and the artists that inspired him to have a career in the music industry.
Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in music?
Ronny Morris: Music has been with me as long as I can remember. Looking at super 8 from the time I was barely crawling I can see that my parents always introduced me to music and different instruments. But, it was not until my late teens that I developed a great interest for music as being my way of life. After a few years at a music boarding school where I traveled throughout Europe with our school band, I finally joined my first band where I quickly developed a passion for singing and writing songs.
JE: Who were your biggest musical influences? How did they influence you as an artist?
RM: The pride of my childhood home was my dad's stereo. I was early on introduced to music like Ten Years After, George Harrison, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd. In my growing years, I was really into everything from A-ha, Depeche Mode, Guns N Roses, and Oasis to name a few. But, when it came to writing my own stuff, it was really the older albums from my dad's collection that came into play.
At one point I went back in his catalogue and revisited a lot of these amazing albums, which had filled my childhood living room with life. Today I am influenced by almost everything from rock to pop, hip-hop and blues. Most importantly, things have to have a soul in order to get me hooked.
JE: Recently, you released a second video of your song: “Built to Last” in a three-part series that centers on your campaign with Greenpeace to save the Arctic. How did you get interested in this cause?
RM: I have always been concerned with global issues like the environment and politics. An issue like Climate Change has been a developing case, which I have been following closely. About a year ago I was traveling to my native Copenhagen, Denmark on a promotion tour. After a radio interview I received a call from Greenpeace, who asked for my PR. The whole thing was really odd, because none of us had spoken to anyone from Greenpeace at the time and when we reached out to them, no one had any idea who made the call to us? Maybe it was meant to be? (Laughs)
Anyway, one thing led to another and it so happened that they had a major campaign that day, which they invited me to. Here I met with head of communication Henrik Beha Pedersen, who introduced me to the latest developments concerning climate change and the recent concerns regarding the arctic region, which was truly an eye opener. After weeks of research, one thing let to another and after a few meetings, I found myself standing dressed as a polar bear on the rooftop of a building in downtown LA staring at the streets below thinking, what the hell am I doing here?
But in all honesty, I am really happy it all worked out and I do feel that we are touching base on an issue which are relevant not only to me, but to all of us. Climate change is here, it's happening right now, not in a ten years from now, but right now around us and we have only seen the beginning of it, if you ask the experts. It happens that nine-out-of-10 experts and researchers all agree on this very fact, and I do not think the discussion of "who created it" is as relevant as to "what are we gonna do about it?"
Personally I do not think we, by releasing a song, or running a campaign will fix anything. But, hopefully it will be part of increasing awareness, which eventually will lead to local and individual initiatives, choosing a different way of life with greater concern on the environment which includes everything that we spend money on, from food down to electrical parts and what car we choose to drive. At the end of the day, this is the only way we can change this scary development if you ask me, we all have to do our part even on a minute level bringing pressure on the politicians in power.
JE: How has social media helped you connect with your fans?
RM: Social media is one of the many tools I use reaching and communicating with people. I love the fact that I get to see the response from what we're doing. At the end of the day, we need to have them included or else it really makes no sense to me. By using social media I have been in contact with people from all over the world, from the U.S to Iran to Denmark and Russia all raising the same concerns. It has really shown me that we are not so different after all and that we all share the same concerns for our country and the children we lead. Social Media is absolutely here to stay, though we have only seen the start of it.
JE: If you had the chance to meet with aspiring musicians who want a career in the entertainment industry, what advice would you share with them?
RM: I actually do already which I am really happy about. I run a media platform called Morris Music and through my work I get to speak with musicians, artists and composers on a daily basis. My advice is always: "Don't forget why you started in the first place. Success is a strange animal and if the feeling of success only comes from how much you are in the media or see yourself on charts around the world, you're screwed. You have to enjoy the process more than the end goal, that's for sure."
As much as I like people taking charge of their lives, honing their craft, I often urge people to be a kid about it. I have seen so many people being some of the best at what they do, playing by the book getting nowhere, leaving them devastated. Start a party; invite people in and reward people for helping you. Never become a smart ass; you are always only a second away from becoming yesterday's news and when that happens you will need all the right people around you who supported you in the first place. Write from the heart and don't ask permission on what to write about.
The world needs your voice, but please demand greater things from yourself than writing yet another love song, unless you really are in love. Spend money on your carrier, but keep money tight and save a nickel, so you have money for the bus ride home. And as much as it sounds like a cliché, don't do drugs. Life can easily put you to the test, but adding drugs into the equation will fuck you up faster than anything and get you nowhere.
For more information about Ronny Morris, visit his website: http://www.ronny-morris.com/
You can also connect with Ronny on social media by visiting his Facebook, Twitter & YouTube channels.